Lindsey Troy wants to know what the best English beer is. She asks the capacity crowd at the Old Blue Last for recommendations. “Stella!” a pissed bloke down the front shouts. She greets his response with an insouciant smirk and the rasping, low-fi riff of Your Love’s a Lie.
Troy (vocals, guitar) and Julie Edwards (drums) are much-hyped Californian two-piece Deap Vally. This is their debut UK gig. Outside the sweaty east London venue, people were still queuing in vain as the duo took to the stage and ripped into first track Baby I Call Hell – a relentless, stomping opener that sounds like the Black Keys on oestrogen.
It's not unfair to say the pair have a rudimentary grasp of their instruments. But what they lack in musicianship they make up for in energy. Edwards' endless curls of ginger hair flail wildly as she thrashes over the drums, eye make-up sliding down her face throughout Ain’t Fair. Troy is a captivating frontwoman, pouting and snarling through blonde locks during She’s a Wanderer, sporting ripped denim shorts and a black leather jacket.
A relentless, stomping opener that sounds like the Black Keys on oestrogen
Troy's guttural delivery is central to the band's sound. But at times, she's guilty of more than a little vocal intemperance. While I'd like to offer a more deft comparison, when she sings I'm reminded of Cassandra from Wayne's World. One member of the audience likened her voice to Gwen Stefani's, which I thought was unfair. Though it's probably somewhere between the two.
The band interacts with the crowd throughout their set. Troy describes the conspicuous bathtub backstage; how she wanted to get into it but refrained after considering how many people may have had sex in it. She's a big fan of baked beans and enjoyed having them on toast for breakfast – something, she says, which isn't customary in the US. The English accent entertains her, and she asks the audience to repeat after her: “Yummy mummy.” It's a term she's only recently learned and confesses she doesn't fully understand. “MILF,” the same pissed bloke down the front shouts.
They do simple blues imbued rock’n'roll, and do it well
A gloriously demented version of I Put A Spell On You brings the biggest cheer of the night, but is quickly usurped by current single Gonna Make My Own Money – with its infectious chorus and Jack White hooks.
After the gig, the band hang around and pose for photos. The photographers are mainly young males. But judging from the reception for End of the World, which brings their short but dynamic set to a close, everyone's impressed with what they saw.
Deap Vally aren't looking to reinvent the wheel. Their music is catchy, though never far from derivative. That doesn't seem to matter. They do simple blues imbued rock’n'roll, and do it well. It's loud, sleazy, sexy and crude. And it's very entertaining.
For tour dates: www.facebook.com/deapvally
Follow Gary Evans on Twitter: @GazEvans
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